Dating policy company employee handbook

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"It can serve as a playbook and spell out the rules of the game for employees about what is expected of them," says Nancy Cooper, chair of the labor and employment group of Garvey Schubert Barer, a law firm based in Portland, Oregon.

They typically generate consternation from employees, especially if they are not clear, well-written, and specific to the business and if they focus mostly on negativity -- in other words list, only what not to do.

Employers, meanwhile, typically look at these manuals in terms of how to cover their…assets…in the event of any potential lawsuits. Experts say that small and mid-sized businesses can craft employee manuals that both protect them from litigation and put staff members at ease by spelling out in positive terms the company's policies.

Manager/employee dating, in particular, may be prohibited by policy so it is always a good idea to check with the HR department or take a look at the policy handbook to see what rules your company has. In 2008, more than 13,867 sexual harassment claims were filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

When a supervisor is dating a subordinate, other workers might claim that the subordinate received preferential treatment in job assignments or pay raises, says a partner with the labor and employment practice of Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham.

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